As all businesses are different and have their own unique needs, it is impossible to answer simply – How much does a website cost?
The following costings are a general guide only to give you an idea of what is involved. The products and prices differ from provider to provider, just like your internet & mobile phone providers offer different products & prices.
There are 4 major components:
- Domain Name
- Website hosting
- Website design costs.
- Ongoing Maintenance
1 – Domain Name:
Domain names are charged annually and range from $0 – $40 per year on average for standard domains like .com and .com.au depending on the provider.
For further information on domain names read our previous blog Domain names & Hosting – A simple explanation
2 – Web Hosting:
Website hosting is the service that actually stores your website’s files that display on the internet.
To host a website you will need to ‘rent’ server space from a company that agrees to store your files. Depending on the provider, it is charged monthly or annually.
Average cost approx. $0 to $50 per month plus your time to put it all together.
3. Website build and design costs.
* Free DIY Services:
There are many free website services that will allow you to use their content management system and design tools, these types of services generally come with a catch.
This type or service may be ok for someone that doesn't have a website design budget and has the time to spare to do it all themselves.
There will be a trade off in some manner for free web hosting.
This is done to cover the costs of giving you free web space. You may be required to place an advertising banner or pop-up on your site.
It may also only provide a small amount of storage space that could run out very quickly requiring you to purchase more space possibly then going onto a paid plan.
Be sure to consider that the ‘free advertisements’ may annoy your potential clients and deter them from using your website. Also consider that this type of free or monthly paid service may not allow you to take your website to another provider if you choose to move it at a later date. So keep this in mind that the many hours and weekends you’ve spent building your site may all be lost.
Things to research include:
- File type and size limitations – Does it have enough space for your needs?
- Reliability and speed of access – This is very important as a site that is down frequently will lose a lot of visitors as well as a site that loads slowly – we all expect websites to load very quickly these days and will go somewhere else if it takes too long.
- FTP access – Some free hosts only allow you to design your site with their online builder. This may be OK for beginners however you could run into problems if you want to expand further.
- Technical support – What level of help will you be provided with.
- Ability to take your site with you should you choose to move it to someone else. You may have spent many hours building your site only to find that you are not able to download your site and take it with you.
* Static HTML Brochure Style Website
You can also consider having a static website built for you, static websites generally costs less than other websites, the main reason is that the website is created in HTML format and does not have the editing tools for you to log in and modify the website on your own, your website designer would normally charge you an hourly rate to manage the website when there is a need for any changes. As a general guide an average cost for 4 – 10 pages may be in the vicinity of $2000 to $5000.
* Content Managed Style Website
For most businesses that require regular changes done to their websites, a Content Management System or CMS will be the best solution.
Using a CMS allows you to log into an administration section and add or edit your own content (images and text) on the website. WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are example of CMS frameworks that are used by most businesses, Government Departments and organisations. They are preferred due to their flexibility.
Average Cost: $3000 to $6000 for approximately 5-10 pages
* Custom Websites
Customised websites involve more than just how the website looks and should be considered if you require your website to function as more than a ‘business card’.
Designing a website is often much more work than people realise, and it can get complicated very quickly. By hiring a website design company that are experts, they will be able to consult with you to identify and implement your needs far quicker than the time it would involve for you to figure out how to make your website behave the way you want it to, leaving your valuable time to focus on running and building your business.
Factors that will affect your costs include:
- Are you able to provide all the website content including correct quality & licensed images?
- Do you need your content tailored to include your keywords for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation?)
- Do you have someone in your organisation that is capable of managing the website once handover is done? This will include ensuring that all security & feature updates are applied to your website when they are released. If not, you will need to have somebody trained or pay your web designer to do it for you.
- How many pages do you need for your site?
- How many revisions will you require?
- Do you already have your logo files or will you need a logo designed for you?
- Do you have your business emails setup?
* eCommerce Website (Shopping Cart)
For businesses that want to sell products Online, they will need to consider an eCommerce system, it's extremely important to make the right choice at the beginning to ensure that you are using the right system that will allow future growth and one that will be able to do what you need to do for the business. Choosing the cheapest often results in the whole project needing to be altered because the wrong decisions were made initially.
Custom and eCommerce sites start from approx. $5000.
4 – Ongoing Maintenance and administration
The biggest mistake is when people overlook or don't realise the need that the site will need ongoing attention. This includes updating the software that the website uses, this could be a WordPress site & any extra functionality that it uses via plugins and themes.
Keeping your website up-to-date is extremely important for applying new security patches and updates to your website to help protect it against possible hacking etc.
Massively important these days for your Google search ranking (SEO) is to keep your content (information on your website) updated often.
Other Ongoing Fees
Depending on the type of website that you have chosen, you should only be charged on-going fees for additional work or changes that you would like to be done to your website. If you are using a static brochure style HTML website then the costs would be associated with keeping your website updated, this is generally charged by the hour and you can always ask what it will cost before any work is done.
As with anything that you buy or pay for today, no matter whether it be a car, phone, tablet or fridge, you only get what you pay for, so if you are looking for a cheap website, you end up with a cheap website. In many cases, a $500 website can end up costing $5000 (plus lots of stress & wasting time) by the time you get what you want.
It is extremely important to understand the different website design options and to choose the best solution to what your businesses needs and budgets are.
Whichever method you choose, do your research and check that you're comfortable with the method and that it will be capable of doing what you want to achieve.
In the end, bear in mind that you get what you pay for!
We hope that this blog will help you to understand the potential costs that can be involved in getting your website from idea to online.
Have a look at our packages here:
Central Coast Web Design Price List Be sure to keep your eye out for our next blog in this series on What is Content?